The Unforgettable Year - 2020

As we look back, 2020 has been an unprecedented year. The Covid-19 pandemic has killed many thousands of people and destroyed economy all over the world. It has spared no country. Sadly, the lockdowns and government restrictions have impacted on charities. The Loomba Foundation was no exception.

During April 2020, The Loomba Foundation donated 100,000 surgical face masks to Niti Aayog in India, to help fight against Covid-19. The Loomba Foundation worked closely with HLL Lifecare Ltd, a nodal company of the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare, Government of India.

HLL Lifecare Ltd is the main agency for the distribution of the face masks and protective equipment to all regions and population suffering from Covid-19.

Lord Loomba CBE, Founder and Chairman Trustee of the Loomba Foundation, a strong advocate for poor and needy widows across the world, emphasised why everyone should play their part, underlining that we wanted to play a small role to help the vulnerable people as the world comes together in these difficult times

Shri Amitabh Kant, CEO of NITI Aayog, thanked the Loomba Foundation, saying, "Philanthropic organisations such as yours can play a strong role in complementing the government in these difficult times by supporting us in several ways. I am ecstatic with the initiative and commitment shown by the Loomba Foundation by donating 1,00,000 surgical masks for distribution in crucial areas in India."
Lord Loomba CBE hosted a webinar to mark UN International Widows Day on 23rd June 2020 to raise awareness of the impact of COVID-19 on widows worldwide and to call for international support for widows’ empowerment both financially and socially.

Chairman and Founder Trustee of the Loomba Foundation said, “As latest estimates show that there are 258 million widowed women globally and the current figures will be much higher especially as Covid-19 has exacerbated this situation. The role of local governments to support their welfare cannot be undermined, and the G20 countries must find a way to help support these and grassroot efforts to help widows.”

Lord Loomba was joined on the panel by former First Lady, Mrs Cherie Blair QC CBE, President of the Loomba Foundation; Mrs Fatima Maada Bio, First Lady, Sierra Leone; Ms Simone Mensah, Vice President of the Sylvia Bongo Ondimba Foundation (Gabon); Mr Amitabh Kant, CEO (Niti Aayog), Government of India; Dr Peter Rajsingh and Mr Harjiv Singh, Trustees of the Loomba Foundation.

Mrs Blair emphasised, “During Covid-19, there are going to be many newly widowed women who will need our support as they fight these challenging times, as they are still living difficult lives in the society.”

Mr Amitabh Kant, CEO Niti Aayog, Government of India agreed, saying, “The Covid-19 lockdown has left widows exposed as a vulnerable group with no access to finance to support their children or themselves.” Explaining how the Indian government has ensured financial support has directly reached those widows affected, he underlined, “the role of civil societies, voluntary groups and citizens is extremely important.”

Mrs Fatima Maada Bio, First Lady, Sierra Leone, highlighting the challenges faced in Sierra Leone, explained how difficult it can be for bereaved widows where cultural norms mean men often have up to four wives.

Ms Simone Mensah, Vice President, Sylvia Bongo Ondimba Foundation, joining from Gabon, was keen to stress, “It is extremely important for us to work together and change the atrocious practices against widows to support human rights. Widow empowerment is

UN Women's Statement of support for widows ahead of the day, by Under-Secretary-General of the United Nations and Executive Director of UN Women, Phumzile Mlambo-Ngcuka, underlined the predicament widows face by saying, “We have seen the myriad ways in which the Covid-19 pandemic impacts the lives of women and men differently. Across every sphere, from health to the economy, security to social protection, the effects of the pandemic are exacerbated for women and girls.”

The video of the full event can be viewed here: https://youtu.be/M-jdoesWNwM

Virtual Diwali Webinar on 10th November 2020

Empowering world widows through digital innovation

The Loomba Foundation organised a virtual celebration of Diwali by hosting a webinar in London in partnership with Cambridge Wireless in London on 10th November 2020. The Cambridge Wireless innovation project will partner with local groups across the world, giving advice, support and technical expertise to empower widows in making the most of their abilities and ideas, laying the groundwork for future generations to benefit.

The webinar was attended by many dignitaries and supporters of the Loomba Foundation, including Mr. Rohit Kumar, Indian High Commission’s First Secretary (ECO), Mr. Loknath Mishra, UK CEO of ICICI Bank, Lord Karan Bilimoria CBE DL, President of CBI and Chancellor of the Birmingham University, Mr. Jaideep Prabhu, Professor at the Cambridge University, Mr. Abhi Naha, CEO of Cambridge Wireless, Mr. Risto Harma, Author of World Widows Report, Mr. Alpesh Patel, Co-Chairman of the Advisory Council of the Loomba Foundation, Ms Bee Hayes, CEO of the Cherie Blair Foundation for Women, Mr. Sunil Dahiya, EVP, Global Wadhwani Foundation, Mr. Paulomi Shah, Managing Director of Goldman Sachs, Mr. Raj Gawera, UK CEO of Samsung and, of course, Lord Loomba CBE, Founder and Chairman Trustee of the Loomba Foundation.

Everyone who participated in the webinar agreed to help the Loomba Foundation to empower widows and their youths through digital innovation. The event was concluded by showing a musical video produced by Alok Prasad.

During the year, the Loomba Foundation continued empowering widows and their youths in the states of Delhi, Maharashtra, West Bengal, Bihar and Madhya Pradesh in partnership with the Rotary India Literacy Mission and Rotary International Foundation.

About Us

The Loomba Foundation was established in the UK in 1997 by Lord Raj Loomba CBE and his wife Lady Veena Loomba, in memory of Lord Loomba’s mother who became a widow at the early age of 37 and succeeded educating all her seven young children single handedly.

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